Wednesday, March 15, 2006


Van Meter to "Spend More Time With Her Family"

As Red State Rabble has predicted for some time now, Iris Van Meter, a member of the Christian fundamentalist majority on the Kansas School Board, has decided to "to spend more time enjoying my grandkids and helping my husband operate our orchard and market on the farm."

In 2002, Van Meter ran a stealth campaign. She made no public appearances but defeated incumbent moderate Val DeFever of Independence just the same.

"It's scary," said Val DeFever after the election. "Someone could never leave their living room, never meet the public, and win public office."

Just a week before the election, a shadowy group called Truth in Politics sent a mailing to voters in the board's 9th District that called DeFever an anti-President Bush liberal supported by an atheist organization.

Van Meter's decision not to run was foreshadowed by the fact that she hasn't raised campaign funds since the last election.

Her decision not to run again may mean that the right's stranglehold on the state board of education will be loosened after November. Four of the six members of the right-wing majority are up for election this year. With Van Meter out, unless another ultra-conservative files, the most conservatives could hope for on the board is a stalemate.

Two Republicans are running for Van Meter's 9th District seat. They are Brad Patzer of Neodesha and Jana Shaver of Independence. Kent Runyan, an education professor at Pittsburg State University and a Democrat, has also announced he is seeking Van Meter's seat.

Shaver and Runyan are both moderates. RSR does not yet know where Patzer stands on the issues.

Here's the AP article announcing Van Meter's withdrawal.


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